Execution of 700 death row prisoners awaits president’s approval
KABUL (Pajhwok): Second Vice-President Sarwar Danish on Wednesday said the execution of more than 700 death row prisoners awaited the approval of the president.
Danish was speaking at the second joint sitting of Afghan and European Union officials to discuss human rights situation in Afghanistan in Kabul.
Danish said more than 700 prisoners who had been sentenced to death by the country’s courts would be executed after the approval from the president.
He said the approval of death warrants depended on the nature of the crimes the prisoners had committed and the president had already approved execution of some of death row prisoners.
“Death penalty is no doubt a heaviest punishment that claims lives,” he said, but added it had been decided to reduce the number of crimes punishable by death by amending the country’s penal code.
He said it had been recommended to convert the death penalty in some cases into life imprisonment. He said death sentences were awarded under specific circumstances where people’s security and lives were threatened.
He said death sentences were awarded in cases of mass murder and associated bomb explosions that resulted in the fall of the country’s soil into the hands of the enemy.
Deputy foreign minister for economic cooperation Adila Raz said the Afghan government had many achievements in the area of human rights and that was why Afghanistan wanted to nominate itself for membership of the UN Human Rights Council in its meeting in July next year.
She said human rights, particularly women’s rights, had been given a high place in Islam and the Afghan government was committed to protect these rights. She said the Afghan government was committed to implementing human rights enshrined in the country’s constitution.
European Union special representative for Afghanistan Franz-Michael Skjold Mellbin said though the human rights situation in Afghanistan was extremely bad, yet it was important the Afghan government should keep its promises in this regard.
“Women’s and children rights, executions, torture, lack of access to justice and restrictions on the freedom of speech are areas the Afghan government should make them a priority and work on that.” He said the EU was committed to assisting Afghanistan in ensuring human rights.
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